Photography III

Monday | April 30th, 2012

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I’ve tried to be as clear as possible about how I shot and what equipment I use. When I say I shot with my iPhone, I think people automatically assume that I’m using the default camera app to take my pictures. When I state that I use a different app, I get the sense that they don’t really know what I’m on about.

I use an app called 6×7. It shoots images in a 6 by 7, squarish format that I like. This is the first reason for not using the default camera app. 6×7 also has more features than the default app. One of those features is the white border on most of the images presented here. The second and third reasons are more technical, 6×7 has a second grid option and does not allow video (which means no accidentally enabling the video then having to wait around for the camera to set itself back in “camera mode”).

There is one other offering 6×7 has and it has saved me a lot of time over how I used to show: the app has an extra setting for B&W called ‘Dynamic B&W’. Basically it’s pushes the black values down and the white values up, just a little. This is the kind of thing I used to use Photoshop for, tweaking the levels and curves of an image for greater contrast and balance. The app has a slider for color or B&W; flash or no flash. When I shoot in color, I also have the option for ‘Dynamic Color’.

I used the dynamic setting for B&W because that is how I would normally shoot and process, if this wasn’t all being done on a phone. I find the dynamic color setting to be too much and I generally prefer flatter color images so this setting is left off. This is all well and good and I love the app and like the information page says, I use version 1.02.

A few weeks ago a situation arose where the app was updated to version 2. Reading the new feature list, I saw there were more settings for both B&W and color images. This created a resistance to updating (which I have had for a few other apps as well), if I love version 1, why should I upgrade to version 2? One of the many luxuries one gives up when using an iPhone is the ability to downgrade an app. What if version 2 sucks or the algorithm for Dynamic B&W had been changed for the worse?

Yesterday during the gadgetry updates, I upgraded my 6×7 app too. The new options include black borders (something I don’t think I like the idea of), real-time preview (resource hog, thank goodness it can be turned off), and four modes for B&W and color shooting.

(Clockwise from top) Standard, dynamic, vibrant, vintage. I can’t see any difference really between dynamic and vibrant; more experimenting will need to be done. Vintage looks terrible even silly. As per version 1.02, I will be leaving the color setting on standard.

(Clockwise from top) Standard, dynamic, fine, antique. I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind fine, but images shot like that would probably turn up nice with a filter. The sky in antique isn’t blown out like it is in standard and dynamic, but that is the only thing redeeming about it. Dynamic is the setting that catches the eye, even with the blown out white (tends to happen even when pushing the curves). I will continue to use the dynamic setting and look for changes in the algorithm …

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